FRISCO, TX — The good squads came out to play today, and there were no upsets to be had. The top of the league has exerted dominance all season and we were not treated to anything less than quality hooping from seeds 1-3. Seed 4 did also win, but it took a miracle three to make that happen. Rick Stansbury at WKU lost and if you take the fans and post-game questions asking about his job as indications, this was the end of a run for him. Louisiana Tech, Rice, and Charlotte all said their goodbyes on Thursday leaving three of four semifinalists as future AAC members. Middle is the league’s only hope for a returning champion in 2024.
FAU 75 Western 51
This game was not even this close for much of it. The Owls got whatever they wanted early and often. Wherever the ball went, an Owl had an easy time scoring. Meanwhile, WKU looked like they were pulling teeth each time they had to generate offense. Western had zero consistent shooting while FAU is the best shooting team in the league. This was a laugher for most of it.
Middle 66 Charlotte 65
Camryn Weston hit a three with seconds remaining to put Middle up a point. Charlotte came out hot, but McDevitt said “a weaker team would have folded.” Middle fought back, and won the game thanks to the play of a guy who seemingly comes up biggest in Frisco.
North Texas 74 Louisiana Tech 46
The Mean Green had the biggest crowd of the night and also the biggest win. Aaron Scott was perfect (6 of 6) from the field on the way to 19 points. North Texas fans got bored about the 15 minute mark.
UAB 87 Rice 60
Jelly Walker’s 27 points were the margin of victory for a UAB team that completed the sweep of Rice in yet another big victory. The Owls made kept it close early, but they could not compete with the offensive onslaught.
- FAU vs Middle at 11:30 am on CBS Sports Network
The Owls continue their journey to a tourney win (seemingly) with a Middle matchup. MTSU beat FAU once this season. Interesting.
- UNT vs UAB at 2pm on CBS Sports Network.
North Texas and UAB were preseason 1-2 in a lot of polls. Tylor Perry won the Player of the Year award over Jelly Walker and that made Walker tweet “Watch This!”. North Texas beat UAB for the 2022 regular season title and that made Andy Kennedy say they wanted to prove they were really the best team in the league. They won the 2022 tournament but did not play North Texas. The road had previously won 9 straight until NT won at home to sweep the season series. There is a lot riding on this one.
I talked with the director of the CBS broadcast and he said he was trying to get the cameras raised higher to the level they were last year. You can’t see it on the broadcast but the floor is bouncier this year. Media can feel it when people walk on the raised platform. Something is off, and while the lifts can raise higher, they will not if they detect movement. The bounciness means the lifts can’t go higher than they are now, which results in a low angle. The thinking is “we’ll use the other court to build a platform” and make that happen. “It feels like a bigger event if the camera is higher” he says.